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tv   Washington Crossing the Delaware  CSPAN  May 21, 2017 6:35pm-6:46pm EDT

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comes about. then it is absolutely possible as long as one is involved in the values and processes of american democracy. >> general george washington and his troops crossed the delaware river right here to begin their march to trenton. coming up to more about their harrowing experience that christmas night in 1776. >> these are the times that try men's souls -- the summer soldier and sunshine patriot will shrink from the service of his country but he deserves thanks of all men and women. thomas payne will write the american crisis. it will be published on december 19 in the pennsylvania journal and washington has it read to
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the soldiers to bolster the sinking morale. the situation is dire due to the beats russia -- washington has suffered. they need a victory. they need something positive going and washington is well aware of it and desperate for it the victory at trenton, when they get it, will be a huge morale boost and confidence booster. the result will be recruits and encourage men to come forward and joined the army. site where general washington on christmas night and the continental army landed. the boats would have in landing up and down the bank for some distance. the army crossed during the darkness. men,ngton had about 2400 18 cannons, 100 horses to get across the river.
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washington was hoping to have everyone across by midnight but it wasn't until or :00 the next morning that the army was across and ready to march to trenton. prelude to our story is the new york campaign somewhere in the fall of 1776. on british landed and army staten island after the declaration of independence and there was a series of battles and defeats for general washington, beginning with the battle of long island, the capture of new york and the defeat at washington and for lee. that began in late november. the retreat from new jersey. washington fell back from new jersey and was hope into defend new jersey but morale was in
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fast. newas counting on the jersey militia and pennsylvania militia to come forward and strengthen his army, but they were not turning out in any significant numbers. when he's halfway across the state, he orders the gathering of the boats along the river and send men forward to the river to start confiscating all the boats. for 70 miles north of philadelphia, everything that floats is being gathered by the army so the british would not have any votes to cross the river. when washington arising trenton, the army will begin crossing the delaware river. very important to save the army from the british pursuit. 8, the army escapes across the river into pennsylvania. the british will arrive minutes after the last boats are
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crossing and arrive in trenton. and thel look for boats delaware river stops the british advance, protects the capital of philadelphia and gets washington valuable breathing room. both sides are very well and warmed through spies. doesthers positions, he have good information's about -- good information about the hessians and is desperate to get a victory going. he is also under the burden that comes with the first of the new soldiersrly half his enlistments are about to expire, so he's going to lose about half of his army without fighting a battle by january 21. these desperate to use the army before it dwindles away. it will cross here on christmas acrosso get the army
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undetected, he waits until darkness. there's ice flooding in the river, but there is a constant problem with ice freezing along the bank. it's a long night and to add a little extra drama, a nor'easter snowstorm kicks in with freezing rain, and when the blowing like a hurricane. this is a classic nor'easter that was miserable and would continue into next morning during the battle and be an important factor. once the muskets get wet, you have a hard time getting the spark and fire. think it was john greenwood who got across earlier in the night and had a long wait. they were tearing down and rails. so the johnson very house probably suffered quite a bit of
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damage to the army. they were trying to keep warm during the snowstorm. greenwood writes that he bentonite and from a bonfire and when he was facing the fire, his back was freezing and when his back was facing the fire, his front was freezing, so he spent the night spinning around in front of a fire. not, one of the soldiers you wrote about it, you could hear his voice during the crash of the ice and river. here with the bonfires and soldiers trying to keep warm. sentnitial crews were inland to set up a perimeter to capture anybody who happened to be out. out waswho would be brought into the line so they
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would not be given warning of the attack. the list of characters for the crossing, there are white a few well-known officers. one of the important ones was colonel henry knox. colonel john glover's man from massachusetts were manning the boats. there were a lot of sailors, but you have to division commanders, general mills annual green and general john sullivan. they will be leading the two .eparate marches to trenton you have alexander hamilton with the new york artillery. he will be in aid for washington later in the. you also have a young james monroe who would become our fifth president of the united states. you have quite a few of the founding fathers in the army at this point. they had to wait for the artillery and it's about or :00
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in the morning on december 26. the army has about a nine mile march ahead of them i think it was john greenwood who wrote about the march and said basically we marched no faster than a 10-year-old could walk and stopping frequently. with numerous halts and starts. it took about four hours to go nine miles. the army divided into two columns. accompanied nathanael greene column that would come from the northeastern end of town. within minutes of each other, they encountered the hessians guard post and force them into town. this event is the pivotal moment of the revolution, the crossing of the delaware followed by the victory at trenton.
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many, including washington, they thought the war was practically over and they were about ready to wrap this up and we needed a victory. trenton is a small battle. 900 hessians are captured but huge.rale effect is it is almost viewed by the population at the time as a miracle event. >> are cities tour staff traveled to trenton, new jersey to learn about its rich history. otherabout trenton and stops on our tour on the c-span cities tour. >> in the spring of 1790, the
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first u.s. congress meeting in a debate about slavery and race while considering a number of anti-slavery petitions they had received. professor history talks about the first congressional debate on slavery and resend argues this discussion which focused on congress'ability to interfere with slavery that the tone for race in america for the next seven decades. the u.s. capitol society posted this event. it's about one hour. >> today, we are going to start longtime colleague of mine. he started interning with the first federal congress project long time ago. he is not sensitive about his age. he is too young to be that it seems like it w


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